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Northern Ireland: doctors urge girls to take up HPV vaccine

07 November 2018

The Public Health Agency (PHA) has urged parents to take up the offer of the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine for their daughters following a fall in uptake.

The vaccine, which reduces the risk of cervical cancer, is routinely offered to girls in Years 9 and 10 in schools across Northern Ireland.

Dr Lucy Jessop, consultant in health protection at the PHA, said latest figures showed a reduction in the levels of uptake of the vaccine, although it remains relatively high compared with other jurisdictions.

She said: ‘With women in Northern Ireland having a one in 10 chance of being diagnosed with changes to the cervix, which can lead to cervical cancer, we want parents to see this vaccine as a simple step that could save their daughter’s life further down the line, as it can reduce the risk of getting cervical cancer by over 70%.’

Each year, around 90 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in Northern Ireland, with an average of 22 women dying from the disease.

 

Image credit | iStock

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